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Noise pollution targeted in environmental plan
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Shanghai is to increase its efforts to control noise from elevated roads, expressways, elevated train lines and railway lines.

In addition to setting up sound barriers at about 900 spots on the roads that receive the most complaints, the city will now investigate noise pollution at residential complexes, schools and hospitals near railway lines.

"Noise control is included in the fourth round of the Three-Year Environmental Protection Action Plan kicking off this year," said Xi Ailing, an official from the Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau yesterday. "We will carry out more measures on noise control, including investing more money and improving the local noise administration system."

Officials said the latest round of the action plan will focus on problems local residents care about the most, including vehicle exhaust fumes, construction dirt and noise.

Last November, the bureau began seeking suggestions from residents, experts and government departments in a bid to improve the action plan, which will involve about 80 billion yuan (US$11.7 billion) of investment on more than 200 projects. The final version of the plan will be published soon, according to the bureau.

Officials said many residents had good ideas about sewage treatment, riverside renovation, controls on light and noise pollution, industrial zone management, the rural environment, energy saving and the Expo.

Some residents suggested violators should be ordered to solve environmental pollution problems themselves.

A recent Gallup survey indicated 86 percent of local people believed the government was putting more emphasis and investment on environmental protection, 94 percent said local environmental protection was effective and 87 percent said the local overall environment had improved.

But many felt not enough was being done. Only 68 percent of people expressed satisfaction about the local environment, indicating a large gap between people's expectations and the reality.

(Shanghai Daily January 13, 2009)

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